ALL change and slow down. These were the buzz words of the past few days as investors got to grips with a very busy week.
It was all change at the Bank of England, Flybe and Pennon, the owner of South West Water.
Let's start at Flybe, where the new chief executive has replaced the management team with his own from easyJet. Although the timing was swift, the fact that he has made a move to stamp his authority on the company comes as no surprise.
Flybe have had a torrid time, but perhaps things are starting to move a little more in their direction. Fuel prices have stabilised and discretionary spending by consumers may start to increase.
The new management team may be able to carry through the planned savings even quicker than originally planned. Be under no false hope, airlines are notoriously difficult companies to value, so if you are still a holder after flotation there are more reasons to hold your shares, but this is not a share I would chase at these levels.
Pennon saw a small directorate change last week but business here remains as usual. A few scares over the past couple of weeks over dirty water will not have helped their reputation, but the water business is inherently stable, perhaps too stable for shareholders.
Viridor remains the key question and recycling rates are starting to pick up. For those looking for a stable income stream, Pennon fits the bill.
The biggest change, one that affects us all, was the Bank of England providing 'forward guidance' – indicating that its Monetary Policy Committee will not consider raising interest rates from their current all-time low level of 0.5 per cent until UK unemployment falls below seven per cent. In principle I welcome this, but I now expect further volatility in markets when unemployment figures are announced.
We already have this in the US with their 'non-farm payrolls', the equivalent of our unemployment figures. Although markets worldwide may not hang on our unemployment figures like they do for the US, greater emphasis will now be put on these figures.
So after all that change we need to slow down and catch our breath. There can be little doubt that we are now experiencing an economic recovery and a broad-based one at that. However, there are still plenty of negatives that could knock us off our perch.
Europe has gone quiet, but that is one area that could reignite very quickly. The level of sterling against our major trading partners is another. Yes, things are improving, but keep your head for a little longer.